Osa has spent her 17 years of life dreading the return of red lights to the sky above her home on the bleak island of Skane. The lights had appeared as she was born and they brought a plague that decimated the population, including her mother. Her father and older sister have always blamed her for the death and this time she wants to find a way of preventing further deaths. However the lights are not the only thing that the islanders fear. They had fled to Skane to escape creatures called Or and yet it now looks as if their island has been found and they are going to face two dangers at once. Osa undertakes a quest to reach the mountains and ask the Goddess to help her people, whilst her friend Ivar stays behind to help train others to fight and prepare for any upcoming attack. The question is whether time will run out before they can find an answer.
This is a gripping story that really gets the reader involved, if they give it some time. The story is told from the perspective of Osa and then Ivar, so that occasionally you wonder who is narrating at that moment. However you soon settle to the pace and style of writing and find that it is difficult to put down. There is a feel of ancient Scandinavia, possibly due to the names used and it is definitely a very cold and dark winter at the time of the events. It is a story about love and friendship and also about family and how important that can be. At the heart of this is the way Osa’s family allow their hurt to put the blame on Osa for something that she had no control over. The heroine is a truly strong person and makes a brilliant role model for young people today. She has a deep faith in the presence of the Goddess and will not give in to the evil that is threatening her people. This is a book that really repays the effort of reading and seeps into the reader’s mind. I thoroughly recommend it.